Napoleon Series Archive 2015

Re: court martial
In Response To: Re: court martial ()

Thanks, that reply is very helpful. I ask because of the controversy surrounding Nelson's execution of the Neapolitan admiral Caracciolo in June 1799.

Nelson stipulated that five senior Neapolitan officers be assembled "to inquire whether the crime with which the said Francisco Caracciolo stands charged can be proved against him and if the charge is proved, you are to report to me what punishment he ought to suffer" [letter to Thurn, Nelson despatches, volume III, p. 398].

Then his next order states "whereas a Board of Naval Officers of His Sicilian Majesty hath been assembled to try Francisco Caracciolo for rebellion ..."

It seems odd that he refers to it as a board of officers, and not a court, and doubly odd that such a board could award a death sentence.

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